James T. Green is a conceptual artist, radio producer, writer, and educator from Chicago, Illinois, and now in Brooklyn, New York.

thoughts + feelings

67: Quitter

This week’s essay: “Quitter”

On June 11th, 2015, I quit the biggest form of financial “security” in my life. I’m currently a ticking time bomb, two weeks away from leaving an eight year balancing act of a day job, an art career, and a smattering of side projects.

In the same breath, I’m scared shitless but ready to take this step. Thanks to the help of many great people, I feel as if I’m being guided in the greatest way imaginable. The reasoning for the jump were on two principles: there were opportunities that needed to be taken on my artistic development that needed the freedom of location, and the balancing act finally started to effect my mental and physical health (in the worst ways imaginable).

From this day forward, my life will be a swirling snapshot of gathering clients, figuring out how to make my side projects profitable, being more consistent on grants and paid residency programs, upping my rates for consulting, being serious about selling artwork, filing to be a corporation, silently crying at the insurance situation for our family, rejoicing during the moments in the black and scrambling to make ends meet during moments in the red. It’s all bananas but invigorating, making a change that I knock on all types of wood while praying that we will not regret it in the long run.

This is the 67th letter I’ve sent to you all. Let’s see how this journey shapes out to be. Do you have any advice for other freelancers or independent artists? Hit reply, limit it to two sentences, and let me know. I’ll feature it in next week’s letter.

What did I find interesting this week?

★ To start off, a friend (and guy I generally look up to) Daniel Zarick wrote about discovering creativity in the midst of a world that is obsessed with the idea of original creations.

★ After reading that, you’ll get your mind all worked up, so of course you want to go outside (preferably on a bike). Read about women in Copenhagen that cycle on the way to the hospital while having contractions.

★ Ok great! You’re super sweaty now, so cool down with an over 30,000+ word interactive explanation on code.

★ Brain hurting yet? Yes, I know. So snack on this guide for dealing with toxic people, because you and I both know we’ve dealt with a couple in our lives.

★ Lastly, ever felt a little bit of overload on telling everyone about what you’re are working on? From a fellow artist’s perspective: “The Nausea of Uploading”.

★ Bonus article! I couldn’t leave this one out but an author makes the argument that "Trap Queen" is our generations greatest love song.

What’s coming up?

★ I’m going to be showing a (semi) new art piece at this year’s CHGO DSGN: WHEREVER show at LVL3 in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. The opening’s on July 11th, so a little early warning for you.

★ Also, Cher and I are recording a new episode of our podcast, Open Ended, this week. I’m 95% certain that we will have our first guest on the show! You can check out our latest episode, Money is so Dumb, on our websiteiTunes, or in any other podcast player.

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Thanks for reading, and see you next week.

-James

James T. Green